BANKING/FINANCE

Compiled by James S. Granelli, Times Staff Writer

Filling a post that has been vacant for the last 10 months, the Bank of Orange County in Fountain Valley has hired Roger W. Pratt as its president and chief executive officer.

Pratt, of Long Beach, had been president of Mid-Cities National Bank in Bellflower for the last two years. He previously held management-level positions at the National Bank of Long Beach and Union Bank.

He filled the vacancy created last April when Edward Downer resigned for health reasons.

Downer, who took over as president in 1984, had helped to turn the bank around after it had suffered from mounting loan losses and soaring salaries under previous management. The bank once was touted as a model for aggressive independent banks in California.

The bank's major remaining problem is litigation arising out of the one-time majority stake it had in the failed Bank of Northern California in San Jose. The litigation caused a potential suitor, Pacific National Bank, to drop its bid last August to buy the Fountain Valley bank.

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